To the mama of a "spirited" (read: strong-willed) child

To the mama of a "spirited" (read: strong-willed) child | @mommingishard | mommingishard.com

"I see those moms who are bending down to their kid's level, speaking in a soft tone as their child quietly does what they say. How come that doesn't work for me?" I shared with my mom the other day as I was lamenting over the fact that I'm not the quiet, gentle-spirited mother I always dreamt I'd be.

"Those moms are just different than you." My mom explained that softer quieter souls breed softer quieter (aka more submissive) children. "Your home will always be a little more volatile than other homes, because you are...spirited."

Guys, first of all, can we just take a minute to talk about how my mom is the best and always has the right thing to say? Okay. Now that's out of the way, let's dive in to the real issue.

I'm a "Spirited" individual. That's a nice way of saying dramatic. I also happened to marry a spirited man. You may not know it by first meeting him, because he has this special thing called "self-control," but overall he is what I would describe as feisty (just ask his parents).

You know what this means? This means that together we breed spirited children with BIG emotions. They feel all the feels. And they feel them big. They hold to their beliefs and desires strongly and it takes more than a gentle whisper to get their shoes on and get them in the car. -
If our kids are like us (which all evidence proves they are), our kids will not give AF about what people who are outside their inner circle care about them. People will have to earn their influence in our kids lives. In the same way, WE as their parents, have to earn our influence in their lives. We don't earn that through whispered commands or shouted instructions. We can earn influence in their lives through loving the hell out of them.

When our kids are young, we get the opportunity to build relationships with our kids and earn influence in their lives. Spirited kids (aka strong-willed kids) are a blessing, but we can't wait until they are teens. We have to start now. Start with loving and listening and the influence will follow.

I may never be a sweet and gentle mom, but I will be a mom who loves fiercely and holds to my values even fiercer.

Sarah Knox

Minnesota